NEW YORK, April 9 ― A diamond-covered edition of Truman Capote’s seminal novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s is on sale for US$1.5 million (RM4.75 million) to mark the centenary of the author’s birth.

The one-of-a-kind volume, on display at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, is signed by the author and decorated with almost 30 carats of diamonds and a sapphire.

“The streets of London are paved with gold… the streets in New York are paved with platinum and diamonds,” said British artist Kate Holland who is behind the special edition of the 1958 novella.

Three years in the making, British jewellers Bentley and Skinner collaborated with US luxury bookseller, Lux Mentis, and the work is on display until Sunday at the book fair in the heart of Manhattan.

The alignment of the more than 1,000 diamonds takes the form of the outline of Manhattan’s distinctive grid system.

The sapphire is positioned at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, location of the legendary flagship of jeweller Tiffany, which reopened in April 2023 under the ownership of French global luxury giant LVMH.

Tiffany, a beacon of New York luxury since 1940, was immortalized by the film adapted from the book of the same name directed by Blake Edwards and starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard.

The romantic comedy with a psychological edge, and the darker book about the character’s childhood traumas, tell the story of Holly Golightly, a whimsical young socialite who lives off her charms in New York and dreams of marrying a billionaire to shower her with jewels.

Holland described the novel as a “love story to New York”, a global hub for the arts, luxury and finance.

And while the artist admits the US$1.5 million price tag “sits uncomfortably” ― she believes the book can be displayed rather than sit “in a box on a shelf.”

The work and life of Capote, as famous for his controversies as for his writing, have since his death in Los Angeles a month before his 60th birthday, been adapted for the screen.

Most recently his exploits were dramatised in Gus Van Sant’s Feud: The Betrayals of Truman Capote starring Tom Hollander, Naomi Watts, Diane Lane and Demi Moore.